Elroy Apparel – desire to make a difference
Canadian designer Leanne McElroy’s inspiration for her current winter collection for her ethical, innovative and sustainable line Elroy Apparel was ‘Nomadic warrior from the land of Narnia.’ The collection includes organic cotton sweaters in wine, olive, mustard, and navy and thicker sweater knits in tribal prints. Elroy also incorporates upcycled wools for trench coats and capes giving the extra ounce of warmth, produced in bright-coloured plaids in blues and oranges, all the while offering their signature neutrals. McElroy ensures every aspect of her line; the design, sourcing, materials and the manufacturing of her clothing is environmentally conscious and socially responsible. But there is more driving McElroy. ”It’s the story behind the clothing,” she shares. “It is so much more than just what the materials are made from. That is still extremely important to us of course, but I am most proud of the work that we are getting done in Indonesia.” Indonesia is where McElroy began a sustainable employment project in 2009 by establishing a grassroots sewing cooperative where she partners with talented tailors and knitters, teaches skills and promotes development. McElroy is also committed to using sustainable, organic or upcycled materials sourced right in their backyard. After launching in 2007, Elroy Apparel continues to draw loyal customers year after year. In reflecting on the success, McElroy reveals determination is key “Determination to supply women (and soon to be men!!) with clothing they love to wear,” she says. “And to educate those who do not know about the benefits of wearing organic, sustainable clothing and supporting fair trade initiatives. Our clients are really the best – they are extremely loyal and many have become a kind of Elroy ambassador.” Whether you are new to the brand, or a long-time wearer, the one must-have piece from this collection, recommends McElroy, is the Buckingham Cape. “I have too many of these now to count,” says McElroy. “It is a perfect layering piece, and it has a great style to it. I find it really makes an outfit stand out, in an extremely easy way. And one size fits all – can’t make it any easier than that.” Elroy Apparel is stocked at boutiques across North America or you can buy online.